Arrest Record-please help!

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JenSilver
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Arrest Record-please help!

Postby JenSilver » Fri Nov 25, 2011 3:44 pm

I was arrested twice for petty larceny (2004, 2007) and am concerned that the record will make it tough to get into schools that ask "were you ever arrested", even though I wasn't convicted. I also have a terrible driving record. My dream schools (UVA, UNC, Emory) ask about arrests. How do you think this will affect my chances of admission and scholarships?

I think I have a decent shot at BU, BC, and maybe some CA schools that only ask about convictions, but I don't want to move to New England or CA.

Stats: 165,166/3.8

bitterpessimist
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Re: Arrest Record-please help!

Postby bitterpessimist » Fri Nov 25, 2011 3:46 pm

Yes

JenSilver
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Re: Arrest Record-please help!

Postby JenSilver » Fri Nov 25, 2011 3:53 pm

Yes=??? Confused.

bitterpessimist
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Re: Arrest Record-please help!

Postby bitterpessimist » Fri Nov 25, 2011 3:57 pm

Your numbers are strong for UNC and Emory but they are marginal for UVA. A criminal record will be viewed negatively and it can hurt your chances of gaining admission. Are you a VA resident?

JenSilver
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Re: Arrest Record-please help!

Postby JenSilver » Fri Nov 25, 2011 4:04 pm

I was very sick at the time-I had an eating disorder and was arrested for concealing food at grocery stores-which is why the charges were dismissed. That being said, I think it looks awful that I was arrested twice, 3 years apart.

I'm afraid that if I explain the reasons for my arrest (bulimic binges), the school will be afraid to take a chance on me despite the fact that I have been in recovery for a solid 3 years. The second arrest actually woke me up to the reality of my sickness (because I've always wanted to be an attorney) and gave me the impetus I needed to finally get better. My prelaw advisor told me it would be better not to use the eating disorder as an explanation for the first arrest, but now that I've been arrested twice, maybe I should?
Last edited by JenSilver on Fri Nov 25, 2011 4:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Antrim
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Re: Arrest Record-please help!

Postby Antrim » Fri Nov 25, 2011 4:10 pm

That lsat will be a bigger problem than the arrests.

JK910
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Re: Arrest Record-please help!

Postby JK910 » Fri Nov 25, 2011 4:12 pm

**removed due to perceived ambiguity**
Last edited by JK910 on Fri Nov 25, 2011 5:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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sunynp
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Re: Arrest Record-please help!

Postby sunynp » Fri Nov 25, 2011 4:14 pm

How else are you going to explain arrests for larceny in a way that doesn't look even worse than the truth? What are you're other options here ? Also you may want to delete the name of your undergrad school, just for privacy.

JenSilver
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Re: Arrest Record-please help!

Postby JenSilver » Fri Nov 25, 2011 4:20 pm

I have a lot of leadership positions and academic awards. I was thinking of writing my personal statement about how I want to do mental health law and represent people with psychological illness.

I can retake the LSAT in February and aim for a 170, but I feel like it might look bad to take the test a third time if I don't improve.

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Antrim
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Re: Arrest Record-please help!

Postby Antrim » Fri Nov 25, 2011 4:22 pm

JK910 wrote:2 arrests, poor driving record may lead to people thinking that you aren't responsible enough and may not be a good fit for the legal community. quite honestly, you're a risk. do you have anything positive in your application that can help balance the negative? a strongly worded (and personal) letter of recommendation? a lot of community service? solid work experience?

if not, consider dropping your expectations a bit. you're less of a risk to a school where you are well above the median or 75th percentile.

as for disclosing the reasoning for the arrest, that's a personal decision. but someone reading your file may wonder if you are a compulsive shoplifter or have some other underlying criminal tendencies.

if it was me? I'd split the difference. Half of the schools I would explain the arrest record and half I would just take my chances. However, I was a psychology major and did a lot of work with eating disorders and understand how incredibly difficult they are to overcome and that relapses do occur. Unless you have some other interesting fact about you, you may want to consider using this situation in your personal statement. Being in recovery for 3 years is something to be proud of. At the very least, this gives the person reviewing your file a true sense of who YOU are, what happened and what you overcame (and it eliminates the mystery).

You may want to compare your situation to someone that was once in a gang and now wants to be a lawyer so he can help other people get out of the gang life. (Being in a gang = very bad; acknowledging it and doing something positive with it = not so bad)


Are you serious with all of this? If you're not trolling then I don't think op is the person here that "isn't fit for the legal community."

JK910
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Re: Arrest Record-please help!

Postby JK910 » Fri Nov 25, 2011 4:36 pm

You may want to compare your situation to someone that was once in a gang and now wants to be a lawyer so he can help other people get out of the gang life. (Being in a gang = very bad; acknowledging it and doing something positive with it = not so bad)[/quote]

Are you serious with all of this? If you're not trolling then I don't think op is the person here that "isn't fit for the legal community."[/quote]

By compare, I meant the need to disclose the truth in an application. Not literally write a PS that compares the two things. That would be crazy. And I do partially agree with your comment about the LSAT. Where is your advice though for this girl? I'm sure she is looking for many opinions to help her figure out the best course of action.

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Antrim
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Re: Arrest Record-please help!

Postby Antrim » Fri Nov 25, 2011 4:55 pm

Where is your advice though for this girl?


In the PM I sent her

By compare, I meant the need to disclose the truth in an application. Not literally write a PS that compares the two things.


I'm aware of this, and the fact that you think it is ok, or that you would even recommend intentionally lying on half of your applications "to compare and take your chances" is one of the stupidest things I have ever heard. You should not be giving any advice whatsoever on this topic, somebody might unfortunately take you seriously.

JK910
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Re: Arrest Record-please help!

Postby JK910 » Fri Nov 25, 2011 5:37 pm

Antrim wrote:
Where is your advice though for this girl?


In the PM I sent her

By compare, I meant the need to disclose the truth in an application. Not literally write a PS that compares the two things.


I'm aware of this, and the fact that you think it is ok, or that you would even recommend intentionally lying on half of your applications "to compare and take your chances" is one of the stupidest things I have ever heard. You should not be giving any advice whatsoever on this topic, somebody might unfortunately take you seriously.


I never said lie (and I deleted my post since obviously it has the potential to be misinterpreted). By "take your chances" I meant not to dwell on the arrest record with any extra attention in a personal statement or other parts of the application as opposed to fully embracing the situation. Anyone that would ever lie or omit the truth on a law school application (whether or not someone encouraged them to do) is an idiot. It will get caught eventually and all the hard work of law school will be for nothing. Are there really people that stupid?

bobbyh1919
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Re: Arrest Record-please help!

Postby bobbyh1919 » Fri Nov 25, 2011 5:45 pm

UVA is probably out of the picture, but it won't be because you got arrested. Your record will hurt you, but a good explanation (plus the fact that they were quite a long time ago) will probably let you get into the other schools you mentioned.

Just be forthcoming, be honest, and don't try to exploit the wording of C&F questions. If you're not sure, just include it.

JenSilver
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Re: Arrest Record-please help!

Postby JenSilver » Fri Nov 25, 2011 5:55 pm

Some schools don't ask about arrests, though. I think it is fine to leave out the arrests on applications that explicitly ask about convictions.

I'm in-state for UVA. If I get my LSAT up to 169 or 170 in Feb, do I have a shot? Slightly concerned that UVA will be concerned about the moral turpitude of the charges because of their strict honor code...

lats19nys
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Re: Arrest Record-please help!

Postby lats19nys » Fri Nov 25, 2011 6:02 pm

JenSilver wrote:Some schools don't ask about arrests, though. I think it is fine to leave out the arrests on applications that explicitly ask about convictions.

I'm in-state for UVA. If I get my LSAT up to 169 or 170 in Feb, do I have a shot? Slightly concerned that UVA will be concerned about the moral turpitude of the charges because of their strict honor code...


They might not explicitly ask for arrests but almost all will ask about misconduct in a more general sense in a character/fitness section. I would be really careful about not disclosing simply because they don't specify arrests. Check each application, chances are they will ask you to disclose any misconduct-especially the better schools.

bobbyh1919
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Re: Arrest Record-please help!

Postby bobbyh1919 » Fri Nov 25, 2011 7:21 pm

^Right. I can't see many law schools not wanting to know if their applicants had been arrested on multiple occasions. That's why the language is so broad for those questions.

Geneva
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Re: Arrest Record-please help!

Postby Geneva » Fri Nov 25, 2011 8:11 pm

I just started my application to BC and they only ask about convictions. I think some schools aren't allowed to ask about arrests due to state law, but I could be misinformed.

FiliusNullius
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Re: Arrest Record-please help!

Postby FiliusNullius » Fri Nov 25, 2011 8:16 pm

Don't ask don't tell.

Might not be army law anymore, but still good common sense for all things else in life. :mrgreen:

Just remember KISS (keep it simple stupid) And you should be fine.

DefyingGravity
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Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2011 11:16 pm

Re: Arrest Record-please help!

Postby DefyingGravity » Fri Nov 25, 2011 11:22 pm

Some schools will care more than others, just as it is harded to get admitted to some state bars than others. Although you need to give an explanation, I'm not sure how schools will react to an eating disorder...

TMC116
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Re: Arrest Record-please help!

Postby TMC116 » Sat Nov 26, 2011 10:09 pm

UVA definitely cares




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